On Name-Changes and Branding

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I’ve previously been told that I’m very good at naming things; books, blog-posts, projects and hopefully this will be no exception.

Salt Water Poetry was the name I wrote under for a while when I first got into sharing my poetry online. I picked this name for a few reasons; one being that I was nervous about sharing my poetry with the world so I felt a name would be easier to hide behind and another reason being that I just really liked the sound of it! Salt Water Poetry just sounded like a thing and I was even getting requests from people if they could work for my “company” (I wasn’t even working for my “company” at this point. In reality all SWP consisted of then was a handle on Instagram.) After my spoken word started getting more popular within Liverpool’s poetry scene and I started getting booked for live events and running nights etc. I decided to drop the name and just work under my own. The logic behind this decision being that I didn’t want to form a company and hire people etc. I felt like surely if I was working as a singular person then I wouldn’t need any sort of name or branding? I now realise that that wasn’t technically correct. As far as personal branding is concerned there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Salt Water Poetry feels and has always felt like my brand. I now feel comfortable using this title now that I’m further on with this journey and a little clearer on how I want to show up in the world.

Aside from just liking the title there were a few other reasons why I had decided to use that name. I first started writing to get over heartbreak. At the time, I noticed that water seemed to be a recurring theme within my work. Aside from writing, I had just begun to notice how vital water water for healing; tears, sweat, baths, they all helped. I know a poet writing about water isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff but there was something in the correlation water had to healing that had caught my interest. Whenever I explain to people the reasons behind my choice of title, I feel a rush of excitement. Salt Water Poetry brings me back to the days where I was first discovering myself artistically, it reminds me of having to summon the bravery to quit my job and move cities in order to peruse poetry more seriously. The name reminds me of the way your voice shakes when you speak the truth and takes me back to a time when I first learned that words could be powerful.

Here’s to creating more power, more authenticity and more bravery this year.

What’s your take on individual branding? How do you market yourself as a singular person and how do you find the balance between showing yourself vs showing the product/service you offer? I find this topic really interesting and will most likely be writing more on the subject this year!

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